World cham­pion Ogier says meet­ing with FIA was ‘con­struc­tive’

Motor Sport News - - Rally News - By David Evans Pho­tos: mck­lein-im­age­

World Rally Cham­pi­onship crews met with the FIA to dis­cuss greater in­volve­ment in the de­ci­sion-mak­ing pro­cesses in the sport last week.

Both sides re­ported a pos­i­tive re­sponse from the Thurs­day meet­ing in Mex­ico and cited the need for bet­ter com­mu­ni­ca­tion. The need for dis­cus­sion arose from the pre­vi­ous round in Swe­den, where the driv­ers felt their voice wasn’t heard in the dis­cus­sion over can­celling stages in the lack of ice and cold tem­per­a­tures needed to make the tyres work.

World Rally cham­pion Se­bastien Ogier was guarded in his re­sponse when ques­tioned in de­tail about the meet­ing, point­ing out that the crews didn’t want to talk pub­licly about pre­cise points.

“We had a very con­struc­tive meet­ing and it was nice to have the chance to talk with them on this,” said Ogier. “We all want to go for­ward and all in the same di­rec­tion.”

WRC man­ager Jarmo Ma­ho­nen agreed with Ogier, adding: “We have agreed to keep the dis­tance [be­tween the FIA and the driv­ers] short. We want to com­mu­ni­cate more and this is not only with the top driv­ers, but with all of the driv­ers.”

Ma­ho­nen, who will meet with WRC2 and WRC3 crews in Por­tu­gal, be­lieves bridges have been built be­tween the gov­ern­ing body and driv­ers.

“The faith is there now,” he said. “That was one of the main things we had to work on. I think the whole thing has been a lack of com­mu­ni­ca­tion. We have been talk­ing in many things – but it’s mainly the work to keep the sport safe. I have a feel­ing we have found each other.”

Ogier says the meet­ing was a step for­ward

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